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Oberstar climate change vote costs consumers

How many more Minnesotans need to lose their jobs or their business? How many more Minnesotans need to lose their homes before Democrats in Washington, like Rep. Jim Oberstar understand that now is not the time for a massive tax increase?

I think the effects of today's economy are pretty obvious, but apparently liberal big spenders in D.C. are so detached from everyday America, they don't see a problem. Oberstar must not know how much it costs to fill up a tractor with gas these days.

By voting for a so-called "cap and trade bill," Oberstar helped increase the costs folks will be paying for heat every month and the cost of putting food on the table every evening. These are the problems Minnesotans are facing today and the giant energy tax that Oberstar voted for in Congress will only make those problems worse.

Oberstar announced on the House floor that the energy tax bill will create millions of jobs for Americans. What he failed to mention was the devastating impact this bill will have on iron ore and steel industry jobs. Even the CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute said that "if this bill is enacted as it presently stands, U.S. steelmakers and our workers will be at a significant competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace."

Even though the livelihood of Minnesotans in Congressional District 8 depends on these industries, Oberstar doesn't get it. And iron workers are not alone. The energy tax will cost a net loss of over 2.5 million jobs nationwide, according to estimates.

The energy tax will not only kill jobs but it will dramatically increase the cost of everyday items for Minnesotans. You can expect food and grocery bills to skyrocket. The energy tax will increase your gas and electric bills as well. And these tax increases aren't a one time deal. The energy tax bill states that the tax should start slow and then exponentially swell over the next 10 years. Exponentially swell? Minnesota's families and small businesses will get buried costs just to keep the lights on!

After 35 years in the Beltway, Oberstar needs a wake-up call. Minnesotans rely on affordable groceries and electric bills, dependable jobs and fuel for their vehicles. After Oberstar chose to toe the national Democrat Party line by voting for the energy tax, the only thing northern Minnesotans can rely on is their congressman failing to represent their interests in Washington.

There is a silver lining; you have a chance to send Oberstar packing in 2010 and elect someone who will do what is right for the people of Minnesota.

Tony Sutton is chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota.